Pope Francis loves to pray. In fact, he considers prayer as his source of strength and “secret weapon.” When he was bishop of Buenos Aires, he prayed everywhere: in the cathedral or walking down the street; in the subway or in the improvised chapels in the slums. And he still does the same thing today as Holy Pontiff. Here are the Pope’s favorite prayer spots.
Room 201, Casa Santa Marta
The Pope is an early riser—he wakes up at 4:45 am! He then prays alone in his room. He recites the breviary and meditates on the Bible readings of the day to prepare for the morning Mass.
The Chapel in Casa Santa Marta
A few minutes before 7 am, Pope Francis goes down to the chapel to celebrate Mass. When the Mass ends, he removes his sacred garments and sits on one of the farthest pews to pray.
In the Redemptoris Mater Chapel
The Pope prays in the lovely Redemptoris Mater Chapel on the second floor of the Apostolic Palace. The chapel is also dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and is embellished with splendid mosaics by Slovenian Jesuit, Fr. Ivan Rupnik. It was previously named the Matilde Chapel until Pope John Paul II renamed it in honor of the Virgin Mary in 1988.
With the People
Pope Francis doesn’t always get to officiate Mass—he sometimes joins the faithful and hears Mass with them. Take, for example, that time he showed up at a Mass unannounced and sent people into a tizzy. According to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, on August 21, 2015, after celebrating a private Mass at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope headed to the tomb of St. Pius in St. Peter’s Basilica to honor the saint on his feast day. Pope Francis joined the people gathered in the tomb for the 7 am mass. He sat in a pew in front and even lined up with the rest of the Mass goers for the Holy Communion!